A Viral Video Helps Catch Cops In The Wrong

Police vehicle lights
William Anderson
March 19, 2020

During a traffic stop, former Gwinnett County police sergeant Michael Bongiovanni and former officer Robert McDonald stopped a Black college student named Demetrius Bryan Hollins half a mile from his mother’s home. They assaulted him, not knowing a viral video of the incident would change everything.

Footage of Demetrius’ attack started making the rounds the next day, officers were fired and criminally charged. In court, the prosecution used the video to help convict McDonald on “charges of aggravated assault, battery and violation of oath of office.” His defense was absurd.

McDonald claimed he was going for his shoulder, when he actually kicked Demetrius in the face. Bongiovanni took a plea after elbowing him in the face, but McDonald fought the charges. Demetrius thought he was “going to die,” because he’d seen officer Bongiovanni before.

Bongiovanni had stopped Demetrius before, he initially tried to record the incident himself because of this!  McDonald has been found guilty, but time will tell if his punishment reflects that. Demetrius, however, has been left traumatized and that has continued to affect him.

We know for certain that if things were the other way around and we assaulted a cop, the punishment would be extreme. Now, McDonald is facing up to 26 years in prison for what he did to Demetrius and these cases related to him and Bongiovanni have been tossed out.

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